Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sibe Got Your Voice?

Kona showed me her post by the window, letting me know my actions were not OK.
. .

I've banned local trails. Between Kona's foxtail scare at the beginning of the month and her vet visit this week, we've had enough close encounters of the sticker kind. An overreaction? Well, between those two blogged about stories, I also had to do some precarious pulling to remove a foxtail from the tip of Kona's nostril, plus I preformed full-on mini surgery to remove a sticker from inside her mouth. Four incidents in 20 days. (I promise, this is with me trying to keep her away from anything dry.) The numbers aren't in our favor.

We need trails, but foxtail season may last until November. I have an idea to get back onto dirt, but more on that next week.

So what's a girl to do?

To the neighborhood we went! I take Kona on neighborhood walks about three or four times a week, just before we head to the trails. We only go a few blocks and I keep a close eye on Kona's nerves. I felt hopeful this morning. Maybe we could go further...get a real workout in.

I leashed Kona and headed out the door. I could tell that the vet spookiness still lingered, but she still found things to sniff and ate some sausage. Then, around the corner, the paperboy made his way up the street. Oh #*#&.

I contribute Kona's wariness of cars to too many encounters with our paperboy. He's all of Kona's fears, rolled into one vehicle. He's unpredictable. His car drives on the wrong side of the road, stops, starts, U-turns. He gets in and out of the car. And, of course, he throws a paper out his window. Kona's not into him.

I would have hightailed it, but the paperboy headed towards home, so we kept going. To my utter joy, Kona was willing to take treats from me! Within a half block, she found something to sniff! Kona use to panic to the point of pulling her body sideways as she strained at the leash to run away. I did an internal victory dance.

Unfortunately, she couldn't completely recover, so we turned around after four blocks. I needed to run to push off the anxiety of the week, so I dropped Kona off and headed back out. My shins protested the concrete, but it felt good to move.

When I returned home, I got the full report. As soon as I left for my run, Kona bolted to the window and started howl-crying. Oh boy. She hasn't done that since she was four months old when she was learning to be left alone. I didn't have to ask for more details, I knew exactly how she sounded. It wasn't her pitiful whimper, it was a full blown wake the entire block. I don't think she liked the new routine.

Camera Saga Story
Yesterday, I called the camera repair service from my home in Los Angeles and talked to a man from Sweden who was working out of a call center in Costa Rica. Perhaps with the international support, my camera will make its way home.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Almost Herself

Just a quick update today on Miss Kona. She had me on pins and needles when she came home last night. I've never had her come home so fresh off anesthesia. She was completely disoriented. If she could have talked, I don't think she would have known her name, let alone who I was or where she was at. And so (understandably) she seemed freaked out.

I felt better when I got her into her crate, but she spent the next three hours whimpering and breathing funny. Icky, icky anesthesia. Sometime between 9 and 10PM, she seemed more oriented, but was still too scared to go out to potty.

She was much better this morning, but didn't want to do much other than stretch out in bed.
We've started the bonding repair that happens post scary event with Kona. Her fear by association has happened so many times now, I don't worry too much about it. She actually hasn't seemed too scared of me. She's more cautious than scared. I'm trying to keeping my energy upbeat and pass out lots of treats to hopefully bring the slinking and flattened ears to a quick end.

Thanks to everyone for your crossed paws and healing wishes. It's good to have other crazy animal people who understand how stressful it can be to hand your furry friend to the vet.

On an up note...I did get a nice surprise from Kona's vet visit. She came home with trimmed nails! Without me asking, or charging me, the vet took care of those talons while she was out!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Can She Get a Break?

Update 5:45PM
Kona's home. She's really out of it. She doesn't seem to know who I am or where she's at. She was frantically pacing the house, so I just put her in her crate to try to settle her.

The sticker she picked up is from the grass, bromus diandrus. Its common name is Ripgut...yeah.

The vet sent us home with an antibiotic and an antihistamine. She'll be on those for a few days, but they're just preventatives. I'll feel better when her level of consciousness comes back up, but it still feels good to have her home.

A request for crossed paws for Kona Girl.

She took one pounce on our run this morning and emerged with a foxtail in her nostril. For those familiar with the stickers in the west, it wasn't a normal foxtail, the seed she picked up was one of those really really long ones. It stuck a couple inches out of her nose, but the barbed tip was already too far in for me to get it out. By the time the vet opened a couple hours later, it had migrated further back into her nasal cavity.

This is Kona's 11th vet visit in the last 13 months. Add on 3 hospitalization nights and I think she's due for a frequent visitor reward. Ugh.

The vet told me she wouldn't be worked on until sometime between 11:30 and 2:30. I understand that they need to get her in whenever is best, since hers isn't a life threatening condition. On top of that, the vet said the procedure could take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour, depending on where the sticker landed. So it makes sense that they have to leave a big window for when they'll get to her, but my stomach turns over thinking about her being terrified as she waits. Ugh again.

Thanks for hearing my emotional upchuck. I'll update when she comes home.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Owl and Level Three

Kona and I got a treat at the trailhead this morning. Right out of the car I heard a strange bird call. It sounded like a goose with laryngitis. I almost felt embarrassed when I saw the owl swoop out of the tree and land on the telephone pole next to us. Several years ago, I saw owls in our neighborhood nearly every morning. For some reason, they've disappeared and I have not seen one in literally four or five years. I had forgotten its call.

So Kona and I stood at the beginning of the trail to become reacquainted with my old bird friend. Within seconds, two crows dive bombed the owl. The owl took the pestering for over a minute before taking off into a nearby tree. Meanwhile, a troop of crows gathered on a telephone wire. When the owl made a move to another tree down canyon, the crows took off in unison after the owl. I don't know if they were protecting a nest or just knew the owl could be trouble. Either way, I felt lucky to watch all the birds at work. Kona stood by me, watching the scene too. It was a great way to start our run.
On the Training Front

Kona and I got through two areas in the house of relaxation protocol work. I started her outside, but stopped after three days and we haven't done anything for the past week. Bad AC. Fortunately, I didn't stop because Kona couldn't handle it. For all of Kona's fears, she's a mellow girl. After only a couple days of RP work, Kona would offer a down with the first exercise. She really seemed quite bored with the whole thing.

I was surprised to see her also offer a down during our few days outside. We worked by the front door so Kona stayed close to the house but had the "action" of our quiet street to challenge her. She definitely oriented more to the sounds around her, but she stayed in a sit or down. I need to get back out there, because the work outside is what's going to help her. While I waited with Kona outside the training hall for today's nose work class, I really wished that she had more RP work to pull from.

Today was Kona's first level 3 nose class. She missed last week, but it may have been a good break. The class is later in the day and may have made Kona more nervous. She's more sensitive in the afternoons and today was the first time I remember her shaking after her initial nervous arrival time.

Her nerves seemed to be limited to the transition to and from the car because she worked great inside. She seemed to spend less time forgetting what she was doing, and found the odor more quickly. She approach our trainer during one off leash search with her signature little wiggle, which made me smile. She still slinks around a bit and keeps her tail down most of the time, but I think her focus is improving.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Falling Up

It takes talent to fall while running uphill, at three miles per hour. I've got talent.

Kona and I headed to the Peak this morning. It's been far too long since we've gone for a run with a sustained climb. I have a race on the calendar for the end of the summer, so it was time to get out for a challenge.

My legs let me know that they have been underutilized on our relaxed, neighborhood trails. Thankfully, I didn't have that "my shoes are caked in mud" feeling. My quads, lungs and heart all felt strong. The problem: my hip flexors. More on that later.

Kona found plenty to sniff, right out of the car. I'm always glad when she doesn't seem too on guard when we first arrive at a trailhead. I think she even had some extra spunk. We've cycled the same two trail systems the last couple weeks, so we were on fresh territory.

All started well, but about a mile and a half in, it happened. A rock grabbed my shoe. There's no other way to explain it. While most of me felt strong, my hip flexors just weren't pulling their weight (or my weight). The problem with that? I couldn't lift my feet very high off the ground. The problem with that? My shoes stayed low enough to fall prey to rocks.

Normally, I knock a rock with my toes, stumble and stay upright. But when a rock grabs your shoe, it's impossible to stay on your feet. So I fell. In slow motion. Like a domino. Literally. In domino fashion, I fell straight down and landed on my side. Everything hit the ground at the same time. I didn't know that was possible.

Poor Kona tried to run away, but only got as far as the end of her line. After I hadn't moved for a few seconds, she slowly took steps in my direction. My sweet, but oh-so-not-a-service-dog, pup gave me the ultimate, "What's up with you?" expression. I smiled and slowly got up. No blood, just dusty.

When we reached the top, I was surprised to see that a dense marine layer had edged its way north as we were running. Downtown sat blanketed in fog. On a clear day, our view from the peak can look like this: (Sorry. This is my attempt to add pictures to my posts while my camera remains in Never Never Repair Land.)

At the top of our peak, we made our way to the best rest spot. Something under a sycamore tree caught my attention. It was the huge rear end of a buck. Soon, a doe came into view. Uh-oh. This could be chaos with Kona. I decided to walk on by. Kona didn't notice them. The deer pair stood frozen, only 15 feet away from us. It was neat to see just how nose oriented Kona is. Only a few feet further up the trail and Kona picked up their tracks. Her nose became frantic.

When she finally spotted the deer, she froze. I asked her to sit. I'm learning that Kona has a great sit stay, but it is conditional. The prey can't move. So we had a good three minute face off with the doe. She actually seemed curious about us and took a couple steps in our direction. Kona stood up, but sat back down when I asked her to.

All was well until the doe turned around to leave. Kona reared. The doe ran. Kona charged. I want to train Kona as though she will be off leash, but she will never be an off leash dog. I can hold rotisserie chicken in front of her nose, and she won't be deterred from deer, not even their tracks. Sigh.

Our return to the car was less eventful. Kona coped with the scary stretch on the street pretty well. When I got home, I hopped into the shower to rinse off the trail that I brought home with me. I noticed a red, golf ball-sized welt on my forearm and thought it strange since I didn't remember getting bit by a mosquito.

It wasn't a bug bite. It was a rock bite. I took home a trophy from my uphill fall.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Yesterday afternoon the sun broke through the clouds, bringing back the temperatures of late spring. But in the morning, a heavy fog beckoned me and Kona for another run.

When I pulled up the the trailhead, I was surprised to see a line of cars. It wasn't even 6AM. I soon saw a crew of six men on mountain bikes. They strapped on helmets and velcroed gloves. They had with them a familiar dog. We've met this crew a couple times before. I felt confident about letting Kona out of the car. I didn't feel the need to carefully time her exit.

Kona perked up as she saw the tail end of the group (and her canine friend) curve around the first bend of the trail. She took off in hot pursuit. We ended up on different trails, but could see them on the singletrack to our north. As we made it up our first climb, I heard a motor up the trail. The bobcat (the vehicle, not the animal, unfortunately) sat idling on the side of the trail. I paid more attention to it than Kona. She found a strong scent that sent her into frantic sniffing.

Just as we crested the hill, we ran into the cycling-dog team. I stopped to let them pass. Kona greeted the other dog in her typical "I like you, but I'm kind of a tense, status-seeking kinda girl" fashion. All six men on mountain bikes passed within feet of us. Kona didn't bat an eye until one of the men dismounted to adjust his seat.

We hit our next series of hills. I felt grateful for the clouds, and Kona seemed grateful for the mule deer tracks. We were both happy girls.

On our last climb, I heard voices making their way up the fog-soaked trail. Three new male cyclists made their way towards us. We kept running downhill. Kona kept her position, running a couple feet from the line of bikes.

Just as we reached the car, we ran into the local pack. Seven dogs reared for their daily hike. Kona stiffened up with hackles raised when she got two spaniels and a dobie stuck to her butt, but hey, who wouldn't?

I loaded Kona in her crate for the drive home. When I took my seat behind the wheel, I paused for a second.

What an uneventful morning. What an uneventful morning!

Just running with a confident Kona.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Delaying Summer

Yesterday I woke up to wet sidewalks and misty air. When I let Kona outside, I felt like I was vacationing on the coast. The moisture gathered to become sideways drizzle. I thought about taking my rain jacket for our run, but decided to take my chances.

We left early and got to the trailhead before 6AM. The marine layer muted the sky, giving the feel of a dark winter morning. I took off with a spring in my step. Any weather that holds off Summer is worth celebration.

When we reached the top of our first hill, two telephone poles buzzed with electricity. The wires followed us overhead for several meters, sounding like a swarm of techno bees. We turned off onto another trail and climbed towards quieter ground. Quail zipped around, seeming to enjoy the moisture.

We took off down our longest hill. I felt bad about keeping Kona off the banks of the trail where she usually frolics through grass and shrubs. She's banded from bushwacking until the end of foxtail season. I'm glad that she hasn't seemed stressed about me pulling her away from scents, but she isn't as spunky with her new restrictions.

At the bottom of the hill, Kona made a mad dash off the trail to remind me of her upset stomach. I decided it wasn't a day to push hard, especially since Kona would be on a restricted stinky-bum diet.

So we turned around before reaching the bee boxes. Kona, the speed trooper, didn't seem sick at all as she pulled me uphill in full sled dog fashion. Running as fast as I could, I still moved slow enough to take in the details of our landscape. A few wildflowers poked up between heaps of mustard. The flowers' color seemed to glow under a layer of mist. It reminded me of our runs at the beginning of the year.

We made it back to the car a few pounds heavier with water. My fleece vest and shirt were soaked through and Kona left muddy paw prints on the car seat. Another good morning.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rock On AC

Kona soaked up the sun this afternoon, but she kept a watchful eye on me.

It started earlier. We were on a run on Kona's favorite trail. It was a take-it-easy kind of morning, so Kona and I kept an eye out for exploring opportunities. At the end of our long descent, I decided to detour to the bee find that we discovered several weeks ago.

I was excited to see nearly a dozen new bee boxes, and a handful of active bees flying around them. I have a romantic fixation on bee keeping. Not sure where it comes from, but it drew me to the new boxes.

I wanted to see if colonies had made homes in the boxes. They were all duct taped closed, so I bent down to listen. I put my head down to one of the boxes and squished my ear on the sanded wood. I expected to hear the strong, low hum of working bees down in the box.

Instead, I heard a loud, sharp buzz of something much closer. The sound got louder. I jumped up, hands waving frantically. The bees were after me. I took several running strides away from the boxes, batting my hands around my face while trying to talk some sense into myself. "AC, bees are rarely aggressive. There's no way you're being chased down trail by a swarm of mad bees. No AC, there are no killer bees anywhere near here. No, there's no water to jump into to save yourself. Besides, Kona doesn't swim and she's attached to you."

The buzz got louder.

I stopped running, but had no control of my frantic, swatting arms. As my knee-jerk flight response settled, I realized the buzz was coming from a single bee. But why was it still following me? And why was it so loud? Alright, my capacity to reason began to return. The bee was loud because it was right by my ear. (More frantic arm swatting.) OK, it's not chasing me, it's stuck in my hair. (Started running again.)

In a desperate attempt to free the trapped bee, I yanked my hair out of its ponytail and started head banging. (Think Led Zeppelin concert.) When that didn't work, I added the head shake, followed by the head swirl.

I suddenly remembered that I was on a public trail. I lifted my head enough to make sure no one was watching me. As I peered through my disheveled strands, I spotted him. The bee sat right at my eye level. I carefully parted my hair and used a finger to free the buzzing insect. Off he flew.

I flipped my hair back and stood upright. Kona was at the very end of her line. Eyes wide, ears back, head cocked to the side. I don't think my hair show impressed her.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Camera Woes and Training

Oh, Camera...
All of you have been very nice to not mention my many blurry photos. While my camera can catch a good shot in specific situations, really, it doesn't work well. The autofocus stopped functioning awhile ago. I thought I had lost the capacity to use a point and shoot camera, or hold a camera still. Many weeks later, I know for sure that it's not me.

In a nutshell, I'm hopeful that the manufacturer or dealer of my camera is finally going to do something and either fix or replace it. (Not holding my breath, but still hopeful.) So I haven't had a camera for the last few days. I may not have new pictures to post for awhile, or until I retrieve my faulty camera, should things come to a standstill.

On the Training Front
Yep, we've gone to two more nose work classes. Sunday was graduation day for Kona's level two class. I'm happy to report that Kona passed with flying colors. OK, there isn't really a way to fail, but she wasn't "invited" to repeat the class, which happens quite often with Kona. (Started with puppy kindergarten.)

Kona's class did an exterior search for the first time on Sunday. Exterior searches work the same as an interior search, but the dogs face additional distractions with the sounds and smells that happen outdoors.

Kona did well. She had trouble with a couple men who were working across the street, but she was able to find the odor on every search. I'm noticing that Kona appears very ADD when I ask her to search in an environment that makes her anxious. She'll engage her nose, disengage to orient to something in the area, reengage, pick up the odor, disengage and forget what she was doing, catch the odor to reengage, then (ah-ha!) she finds it. I can see how someone without experience reading dogs could interpret her as being spazzy or hyperactive, when she's simply nervous.

Today's nose class went on a field trip to a park. Parks can be terrible for Kona because they often involve shouting coming from different directions. I decided to take the risk and see how she'd do. I could always bail.

Luckily, this park was tiny. It was bowl shaped and backed up to an old school that now houses a daycare center. Kona instantly became a freight train. Although that's a sign of stress, her anxiety seemed to mix with excitement. She approached one woman, who she just met this weekend, and licked her face!

On her first round of searches, Kona was able to work through only two of the three hides. A few minutes before her second round, the daycare let the kids out into the adjacent playground. Kona couldn't focus through the kid shrieking, and didn't make any of her next searches. Despite not being able to focus to work, she didn't have a problem taking chicken. She also didn't panic. She didn't want to be there, but she didn't react like it was a life or death situation.

I'd say she had two successful classes. It sounds like a field trip will happen at least once in each series of classes to come. In the big picture of scent work, it's important for the dogs to learn how to work in different environments. For Kona, the support of people and dogs she knows just may help her cope with new places. But, we'll always play it by ear.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program

It's been a bit of an off week, and it was time for me and Kona to get back to it this morning. In an attempt to avoid the infestation of foxtails on our neighborhood trails, we headed out to the Creek. After our first stream crossing, Kona stopped to pose in front of a (ha!) field of foxtails. So much for that idea.
I tried to keep Kona away from the sides of the fireroad to avoid those nasty stickers. While foxtails have been in the making all spring, it wasn't until a week or two ago that they dried out enough to lose their seeds.

I felt bad for restricting Kona's romp-range as we ran. Sniffing and exploring helps her relax, but as I discovered earlier in the week, sniffing around foxtails can lead to sticker inhalation.

I was glad when we reached the mouth of the canyon, where sage brush and sumac overtook the dried grass. Our canyons are so steep, and as spring turns to summer, the dry air makes them seem more inhospitable. Nonetheless, nature finds a way to thrive.
As soon as the canyon narrowed, our run became a hike. Multiple creek crossing and boulder scrambles make the trail too rough to run. Kona thrives when the terrain gets technical, but this morning she seemed to have trouble loosening up.
The water level has dropped over the past several weeks, making it possible for me to cross the creek and keep my feet dry. Heh. I did well for awhile. To my defense, creek crossing with Kona attached to your waist takes some coordination.

With soggy socks, I made it to the falls.
Kona spent about 15 seconds looking a bit unsure of herself. 1,2,3,4,5,6...
We then played our usual Falls game of bobbing for sticks. It goes like this: Kona finds a stick. I take it from her. I throw the stick in the water. The stick sinks. Kona bobs to retrieve the stick. Repeat. The sticks around the fall become so saturated with water that it's sometimes impossible to find one that floats so we can play a normal game of fetch. Kona doesn't seem to mind.
I wanted to extend the morning, but we had to head home. It was good to get back in the swing of things and hang out with the Kona dog.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Snout Update

Paranoid about a foxtail burrowing into Kona's organs, I turned off my emotions and marched Kona into the vet's office this morning. The vet was surprised to see us and asked if Kona had been sneezing again.

I told him she hadn't, but was worried about something being stuck, causing infection, making its way to her brain, etc. He kindly let me know that I had probably misunderstood him yesterday and that (although he was willing to go ahead with the procedure) he wasn't concerned unless the sneezing started again. I guess his 95% rate had to do with dogs showing persistent symptoms.

Kona's vet is great, but he sticks with strict facts and options when we see him. It's never advise or recommendations (smart professionally, I suppose). I think this time around I got confused with his options/possibilities list. Mixed with the stomach turning effect that the vet has on me, I couldn't read through the lines that Kona's probably fine. So the course of action: keep an eye on her...

So I feel better, and will feel really better after a few weeks have past without any funny snout business.

Thanks for the well wishes! I'm off for a catnap to make up for last night's worried sleep. Kona is keeping a suspicious eye on me from behind the coffee table. I tried to tell her we weren't going back to the vets. Maybe a nice frozen kong will help her to believe me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Kona snorted something up her nose yesterday. Around here, the bad culprit is a foxtail. I went into the vet to ask if he thought she should be put under to investigate. (He's the type of vet who doesn't directly tell you what he thinks you should do.) His response was that 95% of the time that he looks for nasal foxtails, he finds one.

He couldn't do the procedure this afternoon, so I can go back in the morning. I'm hesitant because after Kona's initial violent sneezing (yesterday morning) and some off and on snorts later in the day, she hasn't had any symptoms. I hear that that doesn't mean the foxtail is gone. I also hear that it is possible for the dog to sneeze the sticker out.

I know it's better to be safe than sorry, but I also don't take anesthesia lightly. This also is a lengthy procedure, so she'll have to be out for awhile.

Any words of advice (get your butt back to the vet tomorrow?) would be appreciated. Please send us good mojo, even a routine vet visit is stomach turning for both me and Kona.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lots of Sniff Work

With another nose work class later in the day, we kept our morning romp short. I kept an eye on Queen Pouncer to avoid another repeat of our weekend's adventure. Kona still made off with some sneak exploring.

Nose Class
Kona's Sunday class went better than I expected. We were out in the parking lot again for more vehicle searches. I hadn't practiced at all with Kona and didn't know if she would remember anything from the previous week or if we'd be starting from scratch.

She needed help a few times when she got nervous and forgot what she was doing, but a few taps on the van and guiding her with the leash helped her to reengage her nose. She found the odor much more quickly and seemed to know that she was there to work, unlike last week when she was pretty lost.

She whined a couple of times and yanked me back to the car after every turn, but she still manged to a parking lot!

During today's mixed class, the dogs learned how to alert when they found the odor. It's not a hard skill for the dogs to learn, but I won't have Kona practice it anymore for quite some time. It's still more important for her to want to find the odor at this point. We'll worry about the fancy stuff later.

It was fun to watch the more advanced dogs practice their alerts. One young sibe gets so excited that she play bows. She's learning a more formal sit, but I think it would be fun to reinforce the bow.

The highlight for me today was taking Kona across the parking lot where three or four people from one of the neighboring businesses were sitting outside. She saw them and they made her nervous, but she didn't panic. Six months ago, that probably would have sent her over the top.

She also did one exterior search. During her turn, a man in a shop yard came into view through the fence where Kona searched. Kona stopped to take note of him, but I didn't notice her stress levels rise. If I were to show you a video of Kona during class I'm sure everyone would say, "That's one anxious dog." But the fact that Kona can engage her nose, or willingly approach a classmate, makes me one proud Kona mom.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Pouncer Succeeds?

With afternoon temperatures creeping higher every week, I welcomed the veiled sun this morning as a rest from the onslaught of summer.
With nose classes planned for the afternoon, I decided to keep our morning short. Kona and I hiked only part of our ridge. I put Kona on her long line to let her get a bit more exercise, despite cutting our trail time.

Following tips from fellow get-outside-and-play-hard-with-dog blogger, KB, I practiced a couple recalls with Kona right at the beginning of our hike. Kona does well with recalls on her long line with minimum distractions, but I usually avoid recalling her at the beginning of our runs because she's always more anxious when we first arrive at a trail.

I'm happy to report that despite some anxiety, Kona came running for her recalls this morning.
She did so well that I promised to let her run wild for the rest of the morning. And run wild she did.
We quickly reached our turn around point and headed back. I stopped to take a picture of my most photogenic hillside. I noticed the slope's colors looked muted compared to the crisp greens from only a few weeks ago.
As we hiked one of the only flat spots on the trail, Kona stopped and peered over the ridge. I saw it coming. She had that gleam in her eye that means one thing. Pounce. Kona launched up and over the ridge.

Pouncing happens quite often with Kona, so I usually just smile and shake my head. This time, I jumped when I heard Kona land, followed by a shriek that sounded half cat, half seagull. Oh no. Kona really pounced something.

Just as I shouted, "No!" I saw Kona's head leap into the air a second time. Another cat-bird scream. I quickly pulled Kona back onto the trail. I apprehensively peered over the ridge to see what had made the terrible cry and hope that Kona hadn't caused any damage. Nothing. I couldn't find a thing.

As we moved along towards the car, Kona kept trying to turn around and head back to her pounce-victim. Needless to say, we marched on.

I don't think Kona caused serious harm, but my question remains. Any ideas on what L.A. animal shrieks like a cat-seagull when pounced by a Kona dog?